The Times – 3 May 2016

Kaya Burgess is right to report (April 30) that the BBC drama, The Monocled Mutineer, was disowned for gross inaccuracy by its own historical adviser when broadcast in 1986. Yet, he omits the main reason for its having been "incredibly controversial at the time" – a scene depicting the rape, by British soldiers, of nurses near the front line for which there was no historical basis. Confronted with this embarrassing fact, the BBC's managing director of television, Bill Cotton, made matters worse by declaring that the drama told "the greater truth" about the First World War, thus revealing the agenda of those behind its production. In reality, such were the horrors of trench warfare on the Western Front, it is testimony to the courage and resilience of those who served that instances of insubordination were so few and far between.

House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA